Now that another four hours of my life has been taken from me, it’s time to ask: why doesn’t ABC lobby to have Jimmy Kimmel host the Academy Awards? The late night talk show host is far funnier on his post-Oscar showcase than whoever hosts the main event these last few years as he proved again last night. Kimmel and his staff put a lot of effort into these insanely elaborate videos that are star-packed. Last night’s blockbuster “Movie: The Movie” world premiere trailer parody (above) had more big names taking part in skits than you saw on the Oscar red carpet.
Kimmel is supposed to reveal how that sketch was assembled on tonight’s Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05 a.m., ABC/CHCH). His theatre is located right across the street from what Oscar host Billy Crystal called the Chapter 11 theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, so maybe he grabs talent straight out of their limos for these elaborate taped bits.
An even funnier film bit he delivered last night was his pitches to Oprah Winfrey, especially Oprah’s Fight Book Club. Check it out here.
As for Crystal, he delivered a safe, straight ahead Oscar hosting job Sunday night. Too safe and too straight ahead, I thought. And what’s with award show hosts ditching or delivering just one or two monologue jokes these days? With all the writers in Hollywood, that’s all you can come up with? All Crystal had to do was just read all the jokes posted instantly on Twitter. (I was most proud of this one: “I wonder if Scorsese’s tux is Hugo Boss”).
Instead, we get Crystal doing Sammy Davis Jr. in the back of the Midnight in Paris car. Oy vey.
When Jim Rash from Community (an Oscar winner for co-writting The Descendants) goofed on Angelina Jolie’s leggy stance, that was the kind of quick reaction shtick you used to get from the host.
Few others stepped up to fill the comedy void. Chris Rock snuck in one or two good lines. Robert Downey Jr.’s shtick with Gwyneth Paltrow got old fast. Ben Stiller did his best straight man bit next to Emma Stone (channeling James Franco as Nikke Finke quipped in her bitchy Oscar review over at Deadline).
I did laugh at Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakas and their stoopid cymbalism bit, but that had a lot to do with the white suites, always comedy gold. The ladies from Bridesmaids did work in that Scorsese drinking game gag.
Did anyone else miss Robin Williams? I know he’s an old dude now too but seeing Crystal work this gig without at least a brief blast of Williams seemed like watching Bud Abbott labor on without Lou Costello.
Christopher Plummer’s classy, funny, precise acceptance speech was proof you can be 82 and still hit a home run in this room. (And to think they once called him “Liquid” Plummer. Quite the late career turn-a-round.)
Anyway, next year, two words: Jimmy Kimmel. Go for it, ABC.